You Can Still (Virtually) Go to the Library!

While the libraries are closed, there are tons of free, digital library resources you can access with your library card.  Our library director outlines them in this letter and a few are listed below:

For all available online resources, or for how to get started guides, click here.  Don't have a library card?  Click here to get one.  Has your library card expired?  Click here to get it fixed.  If you're wondering what your PIN is, it's the last 4 digits of your phone number.

Happy Reading/Learning/Watching!

Virtual Library Graphic

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Heritage Plaza Re-Opening Soon

The Heritage Park and Plaza has been closed for more than a year as the entire park is being redesigned and rebuilt.  That process is almost done and the park is tentatively scheduled to reopen this spring.

Gone is the old library.  In it's place will be a new main plaza perfect for hosting events.  There will be a stage, a grassy amphitheater, and shady areas provided by heritage trees.  There will be a walking path around the edge of the park featuring historical and culture monuments and artwork. 

Once the park opens, the City plans to move many events like the farmer's market to the plaza.  Heritage Plaza will be a centerpiece of the City's downtown revitalization efforts and a wonderful companion to the new 21st Century Library and Community Learning Center.

Heritage Plaza Plans

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Hayward's 21st Century Library and Community Learning Center is OPEN!

Hayward residents have been enjoying their new, state-of-the-art library since its opening in September.  With public meeting rooms, a coffee shop, computer labs, and more the library is an amazing new public space.  Full of art and with fun things to discover, it's worth a visit.

Want to learn more about the "green" features in this LEED Platinum building, the art, or the ideas behind the building design?  Then join Hayward City Council Member Al Mendall or one of the Library Commission volunteers for a tour.  Tours are available the first Saturday of every month.  The next tours are January 4th at 1:30 pm (English) and 2:15 pm (English & Hindi).  Both tours meet at the top of the stairs on the third floor - no sign up necessary. For any group that would like a personal tour, please contact us and we will make arrangements.

Main Atrium of Library  

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Show Your Hayward Pride!

Hello Friends! 

Turn your next online shopping fun into a force for good. If you're looking for some unique gifts, check out our Shop page, featuring Hayward Library and City apparel.


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Library Opening Update

New Library Opening Anticipated By Late June

photo of library

After a brief work stoppage, construction is back on track and nearing completion on the Hayward new main library—with the building anticipated to open to the public for regular operations before summer.

Once finished, the new 21st Century Library and Community Learning Center at 888 C Street will be one of the largest net-zero energy public buildings in the country, and offer users an expansive collection of reading, audio and visual materials, dozens of new computers, a new digital media lab and a new makerspace featuring 3D printers and robotics, and a homework support center for students.

The three-story, 58,000-square foot building will set a new standard in environmental sustainability. In addition to being 100-percent energy self-sufficient and carbon-free, it will conserve drinking water by capturing, filtering and storing rainwater for non-potable uses such as flushing toilets and irrigation. Its interior of clean, contemporary lines and open floor plans are adorned with creations of local and Bay Area artists, and contain multiple community meeting rooms and a café, promising to become a new cultural, educational and civic hub in the heart of downtown.

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A New Leaf


"When we set out to design a groundbreaking new library for Hayward, our goal was to create a dynamic new facility that would be the right size, the right scope, and the right cost for Hayward.

"Good stewardship of public resources was always foremost in our minds. So, while Hayward’s 21st Century Library has many truly innovative features, we were careful to keep the overall project cost below the average project cost of other library construction projects completed in California in the past five years.

"Thanks to Hayward voters who in 2014 approved a ½ cent sales tax for the construction, Hayward now has the basic funding needed to build this groundbreaking project. But any truly great civic initiative needs support from all sectors of the community—from private funds as well as public—especially, individuals, foundations, businesses, civic organizations and other community groups."

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Heritage Plaza: Hayward's historic heart, restored

This capacity diagram shows the size of Heritage Plaza. It is equal to the size of San Francisco’s Union Square. Heritage Plaza’s two main plaza areas - one in the center oval, and one along the C Street hardscape - have a total capacity for up to 4,000 event attendees

This image from the November 18, 2014 design presentation shows a schematic view and estimated event capacity of the Heritage Plaza. (Click to enlarge)

To get a sense of the scale, check out the the little red rectangles inside the center oval. Those represent 20′ long food trucks. The little red squares at the top of the oval represent 10′ by 10′ farmer’s market tents. 

Heritage Plaza dates back to Hayward’s founding days in the mid-1800’s. The site was part of the homestead of Hayward’s first landowner and rancher, Don Guillermo Castro. When Castro subdivided and sold his land holdings in 1864, he dedicated one full city block to the people of Hayward for use as a public plaza in perpetuity.

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Construction Progress, 10/1/2016


The 21st Century Library construction is progressing nicely. Expect to see robust construction activity continue for the next several months. Here are the latest developments:

  • During construction, the safety of pedestrians, motorists, bicyclists and construction workers is our #1 priority. Please use caution and observe all signs when walking, bicycling, or driving in the area.

  • The reinforced concrete foundation and supporting walls are nearly complete. Construction of the steel framing has begun and is expected to be complete in early November. This work includes installing the steel decking support material and working on the concrete deck slabs. That effort will help provide a more weatherproof work area before the rainy season. After the steel framing is complete, the installation of pipes and ducts will commence.

  • The projected opening of the new library is January 2018. There is a good possibility that the project will be completed early depending on weather conditions and other factors.
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Harvesting and saving rainwater

The 21st Century Library and Heritage Plaza is the most environmentally sustainable public building ever to begin construction in Hayward. The new library will be 100% solar powered, and the new plaza will feature a significant rainwater recycling system, an important consideration in drought-prone California.

This image from the November 18, 2014 design presentation shows a schematic view of the proposed rainwater catchment and storage system. (Click to enlarge)

The Heritage Plaza renovation plan includes an innovative underground rainwater catchment and recycling system that will save and recycle 400,000 gallons of rainwater per year. The water will be filtered and treated then used to flush toilets in the new library and irrigate the trees and landscaping in the plaza.

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Victory! Hayward City Council approves 21st Century Library and Heritage Plaza

Dear Friends,

We are happy and proud to announce that last night the Hayward City Council approved the 21st Century Library and Heritage Plaza project and awarded the construction contract with NO delays and NO last-minute changes to the design!

Your voices made the difference. Over 1,200 petition signatures were collected in ten days. Over 300 well-written comments supporting the project flooded in. Thank you!

When we presented the petition and comments to the City Council last night, it was an impressive sight. The packet was 56 pages thick, and every page was packed with your signatures and comments. Thank you!

Dozens of supporters turned out in person at the City Council meeting last night and spoke passionately about the years of effort and extensive community outreach that went into designing this project. Thank you!

We have never felt so humbled and fortunate to be a part of such an amazing community of neighbors and volunteers, as we did last night.

We thank Mayor Barbara Halliday for her awesome leadership and her strong vote in favor of the project. 

We thank Council Member Al Mendall for his strong support and for so eloquently making the motion to approve the project with no delays and no changes.

We thank Council Member Marvin Peixoto for his unwavering support, for seconding the motion, and for his incisive comments about fiscal responsibility and the need to approve the project with no changes or delays.

Our gratitude also goes to Council Member Greg Jones for his vote in favor of the project, and for his insightful comments about the deep and lasting benefits the Heritage Plaza will bring to Hayward. 

We are grateful for the positive vote cast by Council Member Elisa Márquez, and for her clear and concise comments about the lasting value of this project to Hayward.

Council Member Francisco Zermeño asked to "split" the project in two so he could cast his vote against the plaza restoration and old library demolition, while also preserving his public stance of supporting the new library. City staff advised that the consequences of "splitting" the project at this stage would be severe -- by law, all bids would have to be rejected and the entire project would have to be redesigned and rebid, resulting in a delay of several months and adding millions of dollars to cost. Ultimately, Council Member Zermeño reluctantly voted in favor of the motion.

Council Member Sara Lamnin voted against the motion after her request to amend the motion to cut the project budget was declined by Council Member Al Mendall, the maker of the motion.

The final City Council vote was 6-1 in favor of the awarding the construction contract with no delays and no last-minute, costly changes. This is an incredibly positive outcome and represents a giant step forward for the Hayward community.

Our deepest gratitude goes to all of you, our Friends, who showed your support though this petition, by writing letters, talking to your neighbors, and by speaking passionately to the City Council last night.

The 21st Century Library and Heritage Plaza Arboretum is now officially a dream come true -- thanks in no small part to YOU!

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Saturday, October 3, 2015. Please save the date and plan to attend this momentous occasion for Hayward.

Thank you,

From all of us
Friends of Hayward Library and
Committee to Protect Hayward's Future


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